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  1. #1

    Linksys's new "Slim-killer"

    Linksys has a new product out called an "audio bridge"

    http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satel...VisitorWrapper

    This device has software that allows you to use *ANY* media playing software to stream over your existing wireless network to the stereo of choice. By definition, I should be able to use JRiver Media Center to stream wirelessly over 54g to my stereo any file format that software plays, which includes Apple's .m4p...

    I've been engaging in several lengthy discussions on this forum over the streaming of any audio source to the SqueezeBox, such as:
    http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...t=20083&page=9
    and
    http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...t=18764&page=4

    This product and it's associated software claims to do exactly what i was hoping the SlimServer software could accomplish to warrant purchasing the hardware.

    I have one on order so haven't tried it out yet, but the reviews look promising.

    If there was one single thing on the "what's next" list for Slim, it ought to be this sort of capability. The fact that this product was developed and put on the market should be evidence enough that there is *some* decent interest in getting any audio that is sent to your audio card also streamed wirelessly to the stereo.

  2. #2
    Former Squeezebox Guy andyg's Avatar
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    Looks more like an AirTunes competitor, not a SB competitor.

  3. #3
    Senior Member snarlydwarf's Avatar
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    It has serious limitations that make it useless for me (and many others probably):

    The first two are related. This device behaves exactly as a Long Cable From Your Sound Card would behave:
    1) No display.
    2) No remote.

    I have no PC in the living room, and none in my bedroom. I would have to walk across the house to play music in the bedroom.

    3) Windows Only.
    4) Limit of one device per PC. If I wanted sound in the bedroom, I'd have to have a second PC to serve it.

    I would still have no use for it.

    I don't see the benefit of it at all, actually. Since you need a genuine Windows PC to control it, you're bringing a PC into your listening space, at which point you may as well just run the PC sound card outputs to your amp and save the money. (Unless you like running into another room to queue up some tracks, hit the 'play' button, and then run back to your listening room.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member nelamvr6's Avatar
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    The link to the data sheet wasn't working so I couldn't really find out too much about it. Nowhere does what I was able to read talk about the type and/or quality of the on board DAC or whether or not digital out is available for use with an external DAC.


    As of right this minute I'd have to agree with andyg's assessment.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jonheal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kewe65
    Linksys has a new product out called an "audio bridge"

    http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satel...VisitorWrapper

    This device has software that allows you to use *ANY* media playing software to stream over your existing wireless network to the stereo of choice. By definition, I should be able to use JRiver Media Center to stream wirelessly over 54g to my stereo any file format that software plays, which includes Apple's .m4p...

    I've been engaging in several lengthy discussions on this forum over the streaming of any audio source to the SqueezeBox, such as:
    http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...t=20083&page=9
    and
    http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...t=18764&page=4

    This product and it's associated software claims to do exactly what i was hoping the SlimServer software could accomplish to warrant purchasing the hardware.

    I have one on order so haven't tried it out yet, but the reviews look promising.

    If there was one single thing on the "what's next" list for Slim, it ought to be this sort of capability. The fact that this product was developed and put on the market should be evidence enough that there is *some* decent interest in getting any audio that is sent to your audio card also streamed wirelessly to the stereo.
    You know what? I don't even care.

    It's innevitable -- there will be competing devices. There may come easier to use or better engineered devices. But the SqueezeBox works for me and I'm happy with it, and more importantly, with Slim Devices, as a company. Try getting some personal attention from Cisco/Linksys. I doubt they have the time or resources to give an airborne act of copulation about you.

    At one time, there was something called brand loyalty. Companies often sit on their laurels (or worse), and abuse that loyalty, but at least at this point, if there was ever a company that was earning its brand loyatly, it's Slim.

    The American consumer needs to rediscover the notion that when you buy something, you're not just buying a product at the lowest price, or that's easiest to get, or whatever; you're buying a product from someone.
    Last edited by jonheal; 2006-02-24 at 20:09.
    Jon Heal says:
    Have a nice day!
    http://www.theheals.org/
    ~~~
    SB3 (wired - 6.3.1) | DELL OptiPlex PC running XP Pro | DENON DRA-397 | PSB Stratus Bronze (2) | Outlaw Audio LFM-2 (1) | DIY Speaker Cables | Dayton Audio Interconnects

  6. #6
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kewe65
    If there was one single thing on the "what's next" list for Slim, it ought to be this sort of capability. The fact that this product was developed and put on the market should be evidence enough that there is *some* decent interest in getting any audio that is sent to your audio card also streamed wirelessly to the stereo.
    For $87 (on Amazon) it sounds like it might be worth checking out. I don't really see it as an SB competitor, but I'd also be surprised if something like this didnt't satisfy the needs of 90% of the people just looking for a way to play music from their PCs on their stereo systems.

    By far the biggest advantage would be in terms of software. Both the software for music playback and the music itself. Use I-Tunes, J.River, foobar, Winamp, Windows Media Player, any software you like. Maybe more importantly DRMed music is no problem. Anything you've configured your PC to play, you can stream.

    Just imagining of all the software they _don't_ have to write is mind boggling.

    You could have a $300 Squeezebox do the same thing as this $87 device if Slim Devices would just write a Windows device driver to do it, but I'm not sure if that makes any sense given the huge cost difference. It would only appeal to buyers who feel that a) the Squeezebox sounds better and b) it's worth paying an extra $200 for that sound quality. That's got to be a pretty small crowd.

  7. #7
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    Re: Linksys's new "Slim-killer"

    my god it's gorgeous! those colors! that display! i must have one!

  8. #8
    Senior Member stinkingpig's Avatar
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    Linksys's new "Slim-killer"

    >
    > Linksys has a new product out called an "audio bridge"
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/fv6pj
    >
    > This device has software that allows you to use *ANY* media playing
    > software to stream over your existing wireless network to the stereo of
    > choice. By definition, I should be able to use JRiver Media Center to
    > stream wirelessly over 54g to my stereo any file format that software
    > plays, which includes Apple's .m4p...
    >


    That's great if it fits your needs, good luck with it!

    For me, not so much. Virtual sound card, windows only, will probably play
    those annoying IE clicks and "you've got mail!" over your stereo. No
    display, no remote, no computerless usage. Oh, and it's a Linksys -- the
    people who've produced two DOA's and two "damaged-but-barely-functionals"
    that I've bought. I might pay more for a Squeezebox, but I know it will
    work or be replaced if it doesn't.

    --
    Jack Coates At Monkeynoodle Dot Org: It's A Scientific Venture!
    "I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin, so across the Western
    ocean I must wander" - traditional


  9. #9
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    1 device to 1 computer correlation would strike me as a deal-killer.

    Also, I'd be a bit skeptical about the audio quality out of a networking-oriented company... but who knows?

    Display and remote aren't huge things for me.

    And while at first I didn't really "get" or appreciate slimserver, I now really understand the massive benefits of a tag-database-based interface - the practical organizational benefits of this design makes tags truly useful to me for the first time and provide by far the best playback and music-access interface of any PC-based player I've ever used (and prying me away from WinAmp was no small task), even though the actual GUI can be a bit klunky. The webserver implementation is also a great thing, really making client-side device control both generic and very portable, and is a huge convenience with a ton of sex-appeal.

  10. #10
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    Why bother???

    Hey, if you're happy with that concept, then you don't even need to pay for an expensive wireless bridge thingy, you might as well just get a USB sound card FM transmitter. I've got one at the moment and it works OK, just set up your mp3 player to direct to the usb sound device and not your normal sound card and it broadcasts over FM to your stereo. Same effect but broadcasts to all your stereos at once, only FM quality sound, but still has the same major drawback: you can only control it from your PC, which is why I put my order in for an SB3 last week :-)

    Besides, running Linux I figure I can configure some way to pipe any sound I want to streamcast or something and get Slimserver to pick that up.

    John.

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